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good "home base" in SW Germany?

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Husband and I are planning to visit Southwest Germany in Sept 2012 as part of our trip to Europe. We are interested in basing ourselves out of one location and taking day trips from there. Will likely stay 4-5 nights, more if needed. We will be traveling by train. My initial thought was Heidelberg, but I wanted to get opinions on that. We are interested in visiting the following:
Black Forest,
Stuttgart for the car museums
Strasbourg, France
A KD day cruise on the Rhine

Do you think Heidelberg would be an ideal home base, or do you have any other suggestions. We are in the very initial stage of planning, so any ideas are appreciated. Also, is there some sort of train pass that we would benefit from, or just buy single tickets as we need them?

Thanks
Mary

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